Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha, on Wednesday, 21 November 2012, announced an agreement signed between Western Cape Government Health and the Clicks Group that will enable the pharmacy group to provide immunisations and family planning stock to state patients. This agreement is the forerunner to a service provider project that will enable pharmacy groups to provide similar services throughout the province.
Minister Botha made the announcement yesterday at the sixth annual Clicks Pharmacy Conference at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. The official launch will take place in the first quarter of 2013.
"With the objective to make vaccines and contraceptives more accessible to more public health care patients, we signed an agreement which in short entails that patients can make an appointment with the nurse at a Clicks Clinic, for vaccines or contraceptives. The stock will be provided by government to Clicks Clinics," said Botha.
"At certain times, for this convenience, patients will pay a fee to the maximum of R75 per patient for baby vaccines and R50 per patient for family planning consultations, but patients will at all times have the option of receiving the service free of charge during designated times."
The benefit of this partnership is that it will enable Western Cape Government Health to channel patients toward Clicks Clinics and shorten the queues at primary health care facilities, capacitating health staff to attend to other health needs.
This agreement is the forerunner of similar partnerships with other pharmacy groups across the province, and will eventually grow smaller pharmacy businesses.
Call for private sector aid
Currently, Western Cape Government health district management teams are preparing for the annual call on non-profit organisations for proposals for the re-provisioning of family planning and vaccines in cooperation with the private sector. The contracted NPOs are responsible for important service delivery components such as home based care by community care workers and adherence support for TB, ART and chronic medication.
All prospective providers will submit documentation to Western Cape Government's Health Business Development Unit. Tender documents are available online on Tradeworld and bidders are urged to tender sooner rather than later.
A formal information session for all bidders is scheduled for 12 December 2012. Tenders will close on 15 January 2013 and the new service will commence on 1 July 2013.
The project is in accordance with Western Cape Government's Health Care 2020 vision which aims to improve the patient experience. The option of visiting a Clicks Clinic closest to the patient will certainly provide an improved experience to our patients.